Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford (Book Review)

As someone who just missed out on the 80’s, I’ve always been curious about that decade. (John Hughes movies are some of my favorites!). So, I was excited to dive in to Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford.

First, a synopsis: “New York’s last bohemia—the glittering, decadent downtown club scene of the 1980s—is the setting for this brilliantly winning novel about a smart, vulnerable young woman taking a deep dive into her dark side, essential for fans of Sweetbitter, Fleabag, and books by Patti Smith.”

*I received this book for free from the publisher (Atria Books) in exchange for an honest review.

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Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford book review

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Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford: My Thoughts

This was a fascinating portrayal of New York in the 1980s. Somehow; it was seedy and glamorous all at once. I had heard of the club/party scene back then, but always in a removed way. It was interesting to get a firsthand glance at the over-the-top clubs, celebrity artist appearances, and drug-laden nights.

Normally I don’t have much patience for people who are obsessed with “being seen” and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. But something about Phoebe’s character intrigued me – there was more to her than that.

I loved her relationship with her father, and her friendship with Carmen (to a certain point, at least). I was even rooting for Phoebe’s transformation into Astrid the fortune teller, with the movie tickets as ‘tarot cards’ being a cool touch. But by the end, her naivete and blase attitude had me a little peeved.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It felt like watching an artsy film. It reminded me of Party Monster (starring Macauley Caulkin), but not quite so gruesome. While some characters felt too surface-level and the plot meandered a bit, the setting was brilliant and the story held my interest.

Rating: 3.75 (out of 5) stars

Release date: April 6th, 2021

Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of exciting April 2021 Fiction Book Releases!

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford book review

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